Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Christmas Walk Down Neff Road

Festival of lights. Tour of holiday homes. Downtown Christmas. Storybook land. Christmas Village. The list goes on and on. Events of light and sound held for holiday entertainment.

I sat looking at the paper full of holiday 'walks' and wondered why Neff Road wasn't on the list. Sure it isn't a festival of lights or homes decorated by a professional designers. Yet, I think it might be a wonderful holiday event. Well, maybe not for everyone, but I'd go.

I'd start with a caroling at Painter Creek Church, then I would make my way down the Hogpath past the recently demolished Franklin School where two generations of my family played in the halls. I would walk past Granddad Loxley's old octagonal barn, a beautiful sight in itself. Over the bridge I would go and walk down past Uncle Keith and Aunt Kate's old homestead. Maybe I could share a cup of hot chocolate with Janet and Don Rhoades. I would insist that my friend Brenda Sparks tag along with me. We would stop at her once home and remember other Christmases with the Stager family gathered around the tree. Doris and Victor Lavy wouldn't be home, but we would sit on the stoop and remember baseball games in the field. Next we would walk back the lane where many a Christmas tree stood. Santa knew this house well. He had a good chimney to go down and a little girl who awaited his surprises. Brenda and I would shed a few tears and a great deal of laughter. We might even go to the barn to swing once more. It would be the holiday walk down Neff Road.

We all have a Neff Road, a place where our memories reside. Walls that knew Christmas when we were children. Walls that heard the laughter that I'm sure rings there still. Marshmallows over the fire in the fireplace. Loving arms wrapped around us. Friends and neighbors dropping in with Christmas wishes and sometimes cookies and candy. And, as we have our own visits down Christmas lane, so too do our families.

Thank you for walking down Neff Road with me. We are all memories in the making. Memories saved for other generations. May your Christmas memories be many and the joy of each day be yours. Merry Christmas from the girl who lived back the lane on Neff Road.

On A Grandparent's Voice: Nestled in the True Meaning

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